Questions About Ceramic Heat Lamps

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chad the Chicken Man, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. Chad the Chicken Man

    Chad the Chicken Man Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2009
    Belleville, WI
    Hey guys I just got done readins a topic about a three chicken coops burning down because of the normal heat lamps. and with winter around the corner, I was wondering what the safest way to heat the coop. I know there are the ceramic heat lamps, and my question is do those catch fire like the normal heat lamps do if you dont clean the dust off? just wondering what the safest thing to do is.
    Thanks Chad
  2. DonnaBelle

    DonnaBelle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    McIntosh County, OK
    I bought the infra red heat lamps and they had a protective wire cage around them.

    If you hang them from the ceiling, be sure and hook an extra chain to them, in case a hanger should fail. Just do some normal precations. Don't put them where the chickens can fly up and get close to them.

    Just use some common sense, don't hang them close to anything flammable.

    Check some out at the feed store or hardware store, they usually come in a cardbord box container with some good safety tips.

  3. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    I'd think it wouldn't be too much different. Just make sure you have good ventilation (which will cut down on the dust) and keep it cleaned off regularly. Also, make sure it's up high enough to not catch bedding/walls/etc on fire but it also needs to have enough hanging down not to catch the ceiling on fire, LOL

    I found the Thermo-Cube and I LOVE it. It's a little plastic plug-in (with two plug-in spots) that has a built-in thermostat. It turns on at 35 degrees and shuts off at 45. It's working perfectly for now.

    My main coop is 8' wide by 16' long. It's fully insulated with two big vents (that are closable) and two big windows that also open. The windows have been shut but I have left the two vents open so far. I have one red heat lamp suspended from the ceiling in the center of the coop (probably 4-5' off the ground) and not in the chicken area. This morning, it was 28 degrees outside and the lamp was on. In the coop, it was 39 degrees.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The safest thing to do is to not use any electric heat unless absolutely unavoidable, like it is -20F and/or you are actually seeing trouble (first signs of frostbite or hyperthermia or illness).

    Really, the less you use it, the less chance of problems. Chickens are generally quite cold-hardy in a well managed (well ventilated! dry! non drafty!) coop. And to the extent you want to moderate temperatures in the coop, there are a lot of other things to try BEFORE (IMHO) plugging in a lamp or heater. See page in my .sig below for some options.

    That said, it is certainly possible to use a heatlamp more safely or less safely, and fires are much more apt to happen to the 'less safely', 'oh, I bet it'll be all right this way' crew. So picky-retentive prudence does tend to pay off if you are going to run a lamp of whatever sort. Use a guard; hang from two separate secure points on the lamp to two separate sturdy points on the coop using good chain; observe safe distances from bedding/walls/ceiling; etc.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    in a simple answer yes I had one and forgot to shut it off before I put it face down on a p[iece of wood. in just a few minutes it had scortched the wood and the wood had started smoking. I think if left it would certainly have caught the wood on fire. This was one of those white ceramic ones that makes no light but just heat.
  6. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Quote:It's hard to know what the situation was for the guy who had his coops burn down. Whenever electricity is being used, I don't care WHAT application we're talking about, due diligence is very important. Cut no corners. Cross every T and dot every I.

    I have a ceramic bulb. And yes, they are just as much of a fire hazard as any other bulb. You have to blow the dust off them regularly like everything else. And they get VERY VERY hot, so mount them high enough that no one will brush up against them. I have my fixture hard wired into the wall, so I don't have to worry about it falling and getting into the shavings. But that doesn't mean that it's carefree - you always have to be very careful. I got a little too close last winter with my polarfleece mittens and melted the mitten without even touching the light. Very very hot.

    In WI, depending on how many birds you have, you will probably need some heat. You will FOR SURE need a defrosting water dish. Our winters are pretty long, and can be frighteningly harsh at times.
  7. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    I have a unit called a Sweeter Heater. It is a sealed unit that can be washed off or dusted off. You can place your hand on it and not get burned and will not (according to literature) start a fire. I DO dot my I's and cross my T's like citychook said. You can never be too careful. The heather hangs above to floor about 20 inches and the heat radiates off of it. The chickens can brush up against it and they will not be harmed. A friend of mine has one for her rabbits and it is mounted on the wall. Her bunnies cuddle up right next to it. Actually they lean on it.

    Check it out on line and if you mention that it is for poultry you will get free postage and handling. I feel MUCH more comfortable with this unit and I only use it when it is below 0 degrees.

    Everyone please stay safe and be careful this winter. Farmers Almanac said it's going to be a bad one.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009

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